RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN THEATRICALS EUROPE

RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN (R&H) joined IMAGEM Publishing Group, the leading independent music publishing company worldwide, in 2009, bringing in the Group great beloved songs and shows as well as the famous Irving Berlin Music catalogues of over 1,000 songs. In 2013 its European branch headquartered in London was created: R&H Theatricals Europe. Today R&H proudly represents more than 12,000 songs, 900 concert pieces, 200 writers and 100 musicals of all kinds: classic, contemporary, dance, family, historical, romance, reviews, small, large and Theatre for Young Audiences.    

It all started long ago, with the fabulous partnership of the composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and the librettist / lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) in 1943. Richard Rodgers first cooperated with the lyricist Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) and together they started writing their first show while they were students at Columbia University. During their twenty-five year partnership, they wrote a great number of musical comedies which were staged on Broadway and West End.

During the decades of 1940s and 1950s, after L. Hart’s death, Rodgers collaborated exclusively with Hammerstein II, initiating a most successful and fruitful partnership and the golden age of the American musical theatre. Their musical theatre writing partnership was considered the greatest of the 20th century. Their first musical, also the first of the new genre of musical play, was OKLAHOMA! The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943 and ran for 2,212 performances, finally closing on May 29, 1948. Among the musicals that followed were CAROUSEL, ALLEGRO, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, ME AND JULIET, PIPE DREAM, FLOWER DRUM SONG and THE SOUND OF MUSIC in 1959. Many well-knows songs make part of this musical catalogue, including: “You’ll never walk alone”, “My favorite things” and “Do-Re-Mi”.

Rodgers and Hammerstein collectively received dozens of awards for their shows, such as Pulitzer prizes, Tonys, Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Drama Desk, Drama Critics’ Circle, Laurence Olivier. They were the first creators in Broadway who undertook to establish a permanent organisation which would take care of their business. In view of a situation which marginalised the authors of Broadway musicals in the field of financial terms and protection of their materials, Rodgers and Hammerstein realised that they should protect their works. Rodgers’ saying was: “Never sell your copyright!” Then, they decided to become Broadway producers. They started producing others’ works and moved on with the production of their own works. The first musical featuring Rodgers and Hammerstein above and below the title was SOUTH PACIFIC in 1949. They continued with establishing their own film company, the “Rodgers and Hammerstein Picture Corporation” and soon afterwards they presented the film version of OKLAHOMA and SOUTH PACIFIC. They also wrote the musicals STATE FAIR especially for cinema and CINDERELLA especially for television. The R&H Theatre Library and Concert Library were also born. Business was flourishing and as there was interest in expanding overseas, a London branch was established. In seventeen years they wrote eleven musicals.   

Rodgers and Hammerstein success was owed to unity, as they never revealed their disagreements to third parties. The duo always spoke as one and they took good care of their public profile.       

In 1960 Oscar Hammerstein II died. His last musical with Rodgers was THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Thereafter, Rodgers went on with the business solo and continued writing for the musical stage. His fortieth and final Broadway musical was I REMEMBER MAMA, which opened on Broadway a few months before his death in 1979.

However, the R&H office kept going until 2009, when it was purchased by the Imagem Publishing House.